On January 7th my great friend, Emily, who also happens to be my one fan, informed me that it had officially been a year since my last post. I thought about giving up this blog (like so many do) because there are so many other things that occupy my time but, how can I deny my one fan? 

I am Edward Scissorhands, in all of my pale, awkward and misunderstood glory.

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I will one day meet somebody and I will tell them that I almost spent a year living in West Texas. The most frustrating almost-year of my life. I will tell them, as I am telling you now, that West Texas defeated me. It was where I learned that there are some things I just can’t do (even if someone else can) and no amount of willpower or positive thinking can alter reality.

Do you remember how I said I wanted to belong? I tried. I tried so hard that it literally (I do know how to use that word correctly) made me sick. Perhaps I cursed myself using the Edward Scissorhands analogy, but in the end, I didn’t just feel like Edward, I became Edward. And now, one year later, almost to the day, I have been given my opportunity to run back to my gothic mansion (actually, a cute little house) to sculpt my ice sculptures in the frozen north of The Twin Cities. Not chased by a mob. Not even noticed by them.

Now that I’m leaving, I don’t mind telling you, I lived in Prison. Literally. Well, it’s the literal English translation of Presidio. I lived in Prison, Texas. I lived there for at least six months, surrounded by native Spanish speakers before somebody bothered to tell me this. I guess when you live in a place called “prison” it becomes the orange-jumpsuit-wearing elephant in the room. When the translation was finally revealed, right about the time that everything was falling apart, I laughed. How fitting.

Kind of looks like Prison, doesn't it?

Kind of looks like Prison, doesn’t it?

Don’t get me wrong, Presidio is a nice little town full of nice people, many of whom are very happy there. I could have been happy there if not for the comedy of, not quite errors, more like misfortunes, that befell me. Nothing catastrophic, just a steady drip of frustration and mishap. At first seemingly innocuous, subtle in it’s ability to slowly break me down. Just like chinese water torture, after each drip, the next was that much harder to face.

I planned to recount my misadventures – some hilarious, and some painful – in one long blog post. A final farewell to Prison. But, as I began to do it, revisiting it made me physically sick. It was too much all at once. I recently finished reading Blackout by Connie Willis and although it is science fiction, it made me think about real survivors and veterans of wars, who don’t like to talk about what they experienced. I get it. On a very minuscule scale, but still, I get it. It was bad enough the first time, don’t make me live it again. Unfortunately, the rest of your life doesn’t make sense without that piece of your history. I am the way I am because of what I’ve lived through. We are all that way. That is why we cannot judge. We do not know the private heartache and adversity people around us have faced.

The Prison yard in the rain

The Prison yard in the rain. It doesn’t improve much in dry weather.

I want to blot out the Prison chapter of my life and never think about it again. But, if I did that, I might forget all of the things that I learned. The benefit of suffering is that you learn so much. Instead I will bravely face each water droplet one blogpost at a time. The only reason I can do this is because it’s over. I’m free. I hope you enjoy it, Emily.

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